Writing Poetry

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  • Rookie Phillip Sawatzky (2/26/2007 1:01:00 AM) Post reply
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    A few things I remind myself to practice:
    1) Read, read, read. Read a variety of literature and poet's work. Find a poet you really like and read that person's work daily. Study what makes that poet's words resonant and connect with you. Pay attention to the tone of words used in the context of the whole poem. Even try emulating a poet's style for practice.

    2) Write, write, write. Write every day, even when you don't feel like you have anything to say-try writing a poem a day for a month. Don't worry if its any good-to paraphrase William Stafford, just lower your standards and do it!

    3) Find other poets around to connect with. Adopt a mentor, living or dead. And read what that person had to say about the art. Me, I chose William Stafford, because he unravels a whole, profound world in even the most ordinary things or circumstances, he writes succinctly, and uses verbs in ways that are unexpected, and keep a charge going, he is at home in nature and in the human element, and is always aware of the intertwining relationships of place and time, of earth, sky, animal, human-because he has a confidence of character that comes from living a good life, good in the sense of upholding his values of working for the highest good. Those and more. An excellent book he wrote on writing is, Writing the Australian Crawl-one of the very best. Poemhunter has a few of his poems on site-I'd recommend, The Darkness Around Us Is Deep, as a collection and starting off point.

    4) Be mindful of what's going on in the moment, around you as well as inside you-there you will find the threads to follow in writing. Listen more than speak.

    5) As you write a poem, say the words out loud and listen how they sound and feel as you hear them-listen for the flow, the rhythm and tone of the words.
    Play with sentence length, line breaks, structure.

    6) Try writing in different forms-try a sonnet on for size, haikus, couplets, sestina-if you don't know what a sestina is, find out and write one. Its a good way of opening up possibilities and breaking out of ruts. Try writing from a different perspective than first person.

    7) Details, details, details. make a list if that helps.

    8) Frustrated? Just leave that damned poem alone for a while, then come back to it. Eventually, you'll get a new take on it, a new angle-I've had to totally dump a poem because I was forcing it to be something it wasn't, then go back and write what it really was/is. That's where keeping a journal helps me, having that reservoir of thoughts, stories, observations, emotional outbursts, etc..

    9) Don't worry about finding your voice. You have your voice. Just use it and exercise it.

    10) Try writing automatically without censuring yourself, now and again-I set the timer for 4-5 minutes, do a little meditation to clear my mind, and go!
    The main thing is, dont stop to think or ponder more than a second-if you get stuck, have a specific letter, let's say, 'T', and when you're stuck write the first word beginning with 'T' that comes to mind and keep writing. Do it a few times, and you'll likely be amazed at what comes out of you.

    11) When you complete a poem, and it seems to stand on its own feet pretty well, read it outloud, and give yourself a pat on the back.

    12) If you compose on computer, always make a copy on paper-helps to space-and -half or double-space the lines-and use pencil or pen to edit and re-write.

    That's all for now. Best wishes in your writing. Phillip

  • Rookie - 3 Points Petra Creffield (2/24/2007 6:09:00 PM) Post reply

    some new poems on my profile if you have the time / inclination to have a browse :)

  • Rookie Jan Oskar Hansen (2/13/2007 3:41:00 PM) Post reply

    Instant Attraction.

    In the queue buying lottery tickets, last day, last chance
    to win a fortune, I turned and there behind me she was
    the Chinese lady, our eyes met, I had known her all my
    life. Instantly every detail of her face was engraved on
    my mind, if I met her later dressed as peasant woman,
    in Shanghai I would still recognized her

    At the local café I ate fresh Danish pastry, drank newly
    brewed coffee when she came in and sat behind me,
    tremor in hands couldn’t read was acutely aware of her
    presence, too self conscious to get up without breaking
    a cup or turn to speak to her, but we’re meant for each
    other, something has to give.

    Pondering my own feelings I got a little distracted, so
    when I finally turned to look behind me, she was gone;
    had another pastry, remembered she was the Mandarin
    lady that decorated every mess hall on every ship I have
    sailed on; at meal time she looked straight at me and no
    one else in the room.

  • Rookie Slick Sorathiya (2/13/2007 11:28:00 AM) Post reply

    Focus on a particular topic, imagine what i'd be like to experience what you're writing about. Oh and yes have hidden meanings in your poems they really get the readers hooked.

  • Rookie Rownel Allen (2/10/2007 12:06:00 PM) Post reply


    I didn't have any formal education about poetry. I just write to express my feelings. Please advice what areas I need to improve on. I hope to write more poems about life, love and romance.

  • Rookie Lucy Marskell (2/8/2007 3:15:00 PM) Post reply

    Hey i'm new to this site and i was just wondering wot you think of my poems and how i can improve them..

  • Rookie Goldy Locks (2/6/2007 5:46:00 PM) Post reply

    Leader, a

    Two followers.

  • Rookie Jan Oskar Hansen (1/30/2007 1:42:00 PM) Post reply

    Cold Scenery.

    The fat duck stands on ice, the pond
    has frozen over, shifting its appetizing
    weight from leg to leg, must be cold.
    Little snow around, too cold for that;
    so why doesn’t it stand on some dead
    grass? An arctic fox sneaks up wears
    expensive fur, but as it lunges the bird
    jumps up in the air, the fox loses its
    balance and slides to the other side of
    the pond; gets up runs, head down to its
    hole in the ground, by the cold boulder.
    The duck stands as lost in thoughts,
    the Nordic landscape is perfectly still
    and the sun is a frozen Florida orange

  • Rookie Deanna More (1/29/2007 10:53:00 PM) Post reply

    Poetic Inspiration can be gotten from many sources.
    Here's an example (as promised, for Wolfboy1992) .
    It's a poem I wrote after seeing a picture of
    a HUGE funny-eyed lady.

    Titled...''Wall Eyed + K-K-Krazy''

    Peripheral Vision! A plus, indeed!
    When hunting escapees in thick ditch reed.
    A wall-eyed HAG with peroxided hair.
    The glint in her eye said 'Say a prayer! '


    Fort Knox, Texas

    Gossip ran rampant at Sally's Café.
    'Joe's Mail-Order Bride, she's coming today!
    Her ETA set at twelve o'clock noon.
    This Russian Gongzilla'll be here soon.'

    'Stupid old Joe! ' muttered Molly McVain
    'Fer he ain't gotta clue WHAT'S on that train!
    Hairy Ms. Big Foot was his last Blind Date.
    I guess he ain't fussy who'll be his mate.'

    'He's gotta smarten-up and give a hoot.
    Could be a Gold Digger out for his loot.
    I'd wed him, m'self, if he weren't so strange.'
    Said a penny-pincher, counting her change.


    In a Moscow Prison, far, far away.
    Bad jail birds yell...'Bravo za USA! '
    Cause a thorn in their side had quit her job.
    'Pazz-zee VodKa! ' hollers this Slavic mob.

    (A fate worse than death for any inmate
    Was to rile a guard named K-K-Krazy Kate.
    Wired and muscled like a Wrestling Champ.
    Worst fear of all? Her Barracuda Clamp!)

    Nightly tally caused a terrible fright
    When her eyes (pointing to the left + right) ,
    Eerily peered into each Cell Block Door.
    Counting...'6 per bunk and 10 on the floor.'

    'Shezz mean aza croc in a Booclah Swamp
    Thura barb wire, barefooted, shezzd stomp.
    Gone tu wed a FOOL! ' laughed Testroff to Zaul.
    Scott free after scaling the Prison Wall.

    Tick-Tock! ...12 O'clock

    Express Train pulled up. K-K-Krazy Kate stepped down.
    Right there to meet her was Jimmy Joe Brown.
    No hug! No kiss! Shared a Cold One, instead.
    (Punched open with the ONE tooth in her head.)

    Sharing a beer was a great 'Howdy do? '
    To a Single Life, both bid it 'Adieu! '
    She neatened his hair with her pocket comb
    Then, lifted him up and carried him HOME.


  • Rookie Jan Oskar Hansen (1/29/2007 1:11:00 PM) Post reply

    The Hunted.

    The little red fox he had shot
    and now carried by its hind legs
    to the village to show his mates,
    dripped blood from its mouth.
    On to the sea- sand lane drops,
    of ruby glinted in the sun, but
    quickly paled as domestic dogs
    went wild ready to tear a tiny
    body apart. The hunter and his
    mates laughed.

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